Over £10m National Lottery funding to improve young people’s mental health in Wales

Today, The National Lottery Community Fund awarded £10.8 million in grants through its Mind Our Future programme to nine partnerships supporting young people’s mental health and resilience across Wales.

Mind Our Future was co-developed with The National Lottery Community Fund’s Youth Voice Wales Team to ensure young people’s voices were an integral part of shaping the programme. From decision-making to application assessment, the young people were part of the process every step of the way.

Barnardo’s North Wales’ Meddwl Ymlaen Gwynedd project, awarded £1,419,281, will co-produce solutions, leading to a more resilient and mentally healthy future for young people aged 11-25 in Gwynedd and Anglesey. The partnership will work flexibly to engage and empower the community through various activities to co-design a theory of change. The programme will create five new staff posts specifically for young people, and train eight Young Leaders.

Sarah Crawley, Director of Barnardo’s Cymru and South-West, said: “We are delighted to be awarded National Lottery funding as it will allow us to put the voice of young people at the very heart of effective services to safeguard and support their mental health, so they can build resilience and have a mentally healthy future.”

Snakes’n’Ladders, run by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, was awarded £1,269,285 to support young people aged 11-25 living in Merthyr Tydfil County to improve their mental health services. The project will engage and empower a diverse range of young people, to enable them to share their lived experience to inform the development of support and services that will help them to build resilience and maintain their mental wellbeing.

Sue Walker, Director of Education at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, said, “This project supports young people’s mental health, which has become a far more important

issue for them as a result of the pandemic. It has been a privilege to work with the young people over the timeline of the application process and I am looking forward to continuing to develop this work, thanks to this grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.”

The Cardigan Youth Project, Dyfodol Ni (Our Future) Ceredigion project, was awarded £1,226,800 and will support young people across Ceredigion and West Wales. The Ceredigion Partnership will provide opportunities for the young people to express themselves; shaping the direction of the project and co-producing future activities to improve the resilience and mental health of young people across Ceredigion.

Sabina O’Donoghue, Aberystwyth Students’ Union President, one of the project partners, said, “Aberystwyth Students’ Union, University Student Support Services and Old College Team are absolutely delighted to receive this grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. ‘Ein Dyfodol Ni’ gives us a unique opportunity to work with our partners across Ceredigion to bring about real change. Through this project we aim to improve referrals, pathways to support, and the availability of safe, inclusive spaces. This could make a huge difference to the mental health and wellbeing of young people within our communities.”

Other projects awarded include One Voice – New Future run by Oasis in Cardiff, Minding Futures in Gwent run by ProMo-Cymru, A Mental Health Manifesto – Action for our Future run by Single Parents Wellbeing CIC, HarMINDise run by African Community Centre in Swansea, The North-East Wales Mind Our Future Partnership run by The Venture Ltd in Wrexham and Power Up, run by Platfform for Change. You can access the full list of grants awarded in Wales here.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this funding we’ve announced today through Mind our Future will support projects that will improve young people’s health and resilience in Wales. We are delighted these nine partnerships, that involve groups with experience of youth engagement and improving mental health, will work across Wales to bring about real change to young people lives.

“Mind Our Future has been designed with and for young people. Back in 2020 we worked with a diverse team of young people from across Wales, who undertook research into young people’s concerns in their communities. They told us that of their main concerns and interests, their number one priority was ensuring good mental health and a resilient future for young people in Wales. Mind our Future will help do just that.”

Eva Roke, 23, is an engineer and a member of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Youth Voice Wales Team. She said: “I’m proud to have helped create Mind Our Future. It’s so important because young people, my peers, are the future. We will be the engineers, the scientists, and the artists to combat climate change, stop hunger and boost morale. Consulting young people and supporting them in this most important programme has been a wonderful experience. This National Lottery funding will make such a difference for young people now and for generations to come.”

To find out more about, or to apply for The National Lottery Community Fund grants, in Wales, visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/wales.